Although the digital format of music has become the norm in recent years, there are still those who prefer to listen to their music via vinyl records. The reasons for this vary – some claim that vinyl produces better sound fidelity while some just prefer the unique experience that comes with listening to the format. Whatever the reason is, it’s undeniable that you will need equipment to be able to play your collection. With this in mind, we have tested some of the best turntable models under 1000 to help you find the one best suited for your needs. After conducting several hours of extensive research, we have come to the conclusion that the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is the best turntable under 1000. It features everything you need to play your vinyl records and more. However, our runner-up, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable is also an excellent choice if you’re looking for something simpler but high-quality. Learn more about these products and more below.

Top 6 Best Turntables Under 1000 Reviews

Take an in-depth look at our top 6 picks for the great turntable under 1000. Discover their features as well as the pros and cons of each.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Turntable( Editor’s Choice)

Combining the vintage features of an analog turntable with the modern conveniences of digitized music, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is the perfect equipment for music enthusiasts who seek to capture their precious vinyl collection in digital form. It features plenty of connectivity options such as a switchable phono preamp that has RCA output cables as well as a USB cable that allows you to connect it to any computer or audio system. Other features include a fully manual operating direct-drive and high-torque motor which allows for fast start-ups and variable speed controls, a die-cast aluminum platter that helps minimize vibration during playback, and advanced playback controls for an increased level of control over your music. These features, among others, make for one very powerful machine that offers a superb performance that music enthusiasts everywhere would love – and all these at an affordable price range, making it a great value for money.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Frequency Range: 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Direct-drive and high-torque motor for fast start-ups
  • Variable speed control
  • USB output capacity for computer connectivity
  • An anti-resonance platter made from die-cast aluminum and comes with a slip mat
  • Perfectly balanced S-shaped tonearm
  • Superior-quality Audio-Technica cartridge
  • Advanced playback controls
  • Various options for connectivity
  • Recommended impedance: 47,000 Ohms at the output of 3.5 mV (or 1kHz, 5 cm per second)

Editorial Comments

Modern music enthusiasts who enjoy both the vintage sound of vinyl records, as well as the convenience of digitized music, will find the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB the ideal turntable for them. With its high-quality and highly durable construction and excellent and advanced features, this turntable gives a superb performance that music enthusiasts can enjoy.

However, the main selling point of this model is its ability to be plugged into any computer with a USB port. Through this and its exclusive software, you can convert your vinyl collection into a digitized form, allowing you to listen to them even while on-the-go.

Pros

  • Enhanced adjustability
  • Produces good sound quality
  • High-quality and highly durable construction
  • Great value for money
  • Advanced features like the USB connectivity
  • Variable speed control
  • Built-in preamp
  • Easy to use, even for beginners

Cons

  • Fully manual operation
  • No automatic stop and arm return

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable (Runner-Up)

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable features a superbly built and minimalistic design. By using an AC generator and DC power supply, it ensures speed stability that allows for an excellent and high-quality performance. This, along with the new Sorbothane motor suspension that has a precise belt drive as well as the selectable speed of 33 and 45 RPM, makes for one simple yet highly powerful piece of music equipment. It has a carbon-fiber tonearm that measures at 8.6 inches, making it highly durable yet still lightweight enough. In addition to these features, the detachable cables allow for the constant modification and upgrading of this turntable, making it a worthwhile investment.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Carbon fiber tonearm measuring at 8.6 inches
  • Features a sarbothane motor with a precise belt drive
  • Selectable speed of 33 and 45 RPM
  • Uses a DC power supply for guaranteed speed stability
  • Detachable cables for constant upgrades and modification
  • Uses an Ortofon 2M red cartridge
  • Minimalist and well-built design
  • 7 different colors to choose from

Editorial Comments

For those looking for a simple yet immensely powerful turntable, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable is the perfect turntable under 1000 for you. Despite its simplicity and minimalist design, it offers users a superb performance through its high-quality build and amazing features. It produces a sound quality that features both clarity and depth, allowing you to enjoy the full potential of your vinyl records. Plus, its easy-to-install and user-friendly design make it the perfect turntable for both new to the scene and veterans alike.

Pros

  • Produces high-quality sounds
  • Simple yet functional design
  • Durable and well-built construction
  • Easy to install and use even for beginners
  • Can be upgraded and modified to adapt to the user’s needs
  • Increased speed stability for optimal performance

Cons

  • No suspension to isolate the vibration
  • Manual changing only

Rega Planar 2 Turntable(Budget Pick)

With its sleek and modern design, the Planar 2 is an aesthetically pleasing but also incredibly brilliant piece of music equipment that will transform your music listening experience. With features like its revamped Rega RB220 tonearm, 3-point plinth mounting, and auto-biasing system, the Planar 2 allows for an enhanced musical experience that only it can provide. The superior build, quality, and design allow it to deliver superb performance to its users at an affordable price, making it our top budget pick for the best selling turntable under 1000. Other features that contribute to its ability to deliver amazing sound outputs are the low-noise motor, acrylic laminated plinth, Rega Carbon MM cartridge, among others.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Rega RB220 tonearm
  • 3-point plinth mounting
  • Motor cover tray
  • Low-noise motor
  • Low-resonance aluminum arm wand
  • Acrylic laminated plinth
  • Float glass platter
  • Self-securing brass bearing
  • Vibration-reducing feet
  • Rega Carbon MM cartridge
  • Auto-biasing system compatible with a variety of cartridges
  • 3 colors to choose from

Editorial Comments

Rega spent years perfecting the Planar 2, hoping doing so would yield excellent results – and it has. The Planar 2’s features make it worth spending a few more bucks to invest in this brilliant piece of musical equipment. It features a sleek and simple design but this doesn’t stop it from delivering an amazing performance that can help transform how you listen to your vinyl collection. Although not as well-established as some of the other brands, Rega did an excellent job with the Planar 2, providing music enthusiasts everywhere with a turntable that is both user- and budget-friendly.

Pros

  • Produces clear crisp sounds that allow you to immerse in the music
  • Has minimal sound interference
  • Features a sleek and modern design
  • User- and budget-friendly
  • Standard Carbon cartridge for easy set-up

Cons

  • No electric speed change
  • Requires isolated support

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB

With its beautiful high-gloss finish, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit turntable is visually stunning and although its performance isn’t as powerful, it still delivers an excellent and fluent musical performance that is facilitated by its capacity for further upgrades as well as its ease of changing its speed without manually having to do so.

Product Features and Specifications

  • 6-inch carbon fiber tonearm
  • Built-in Pro-Ject Speed Box for easy speed change
  • Capacity to play at 33, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Uses a non-resonant acrylic platter
  • Features a precision belt drive with its synchronous motor
  • Ortofon 2M red cartridge
  • Weighs 12.35 lbs
  • Updated power supply for enhanced speed stability and reduced playback noise

Pros

  • Visually stunning appearance with its high-gloss finish
  • Room for further upgrades and modification
  • Easy changing of speed without manual interference
  • Highly durable and long-lasting construction
  • Produces clear and excellent quality sounds

Cons

  • Performance delivered isn’t as powerful as other models

Sony PSHX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable

The Sony PSHX500 is another turntable that has the capacity to convert your vintage pieces of vinyl into a digitized form, allowing you to enjoy your music wherever you go. Featuring incredible tonearm design along with its built-in phono EQ, this turntable model consistently delivers superb musical performance that helps change the way you listen to music. Its insulated design also helps prevent any sound disturbance from external factors, ensuring you get a pure and clear sound output.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Incredibly stable belt drive
  • Features 2 speeds: 33.3 and 45 RPM
  • Support for both line and phono output for additional playback options
  • A durable and long-lasting integrated shell that helps stabilize the cartridge
  • Lightweight and sleek design
  • USB connectivity for archiving your music to your PC in hi-res
  • Internal A/D converter for native conversion – from analog to DSD (2.8 MHz or 5.6 MHz)

Pros

  • Capacity to convert your favorite vinyl records to digital format for on-the-go convenience
  • Lightweight design for increased portability
  • More playback options
  • Adjustability according to your preference
  • Aesthetically pleasing matte finish
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • USB connectivity

Cons

  • Requires familiarization to maximize its features

Pioneer DJ Direct Drive Turntable

This professional-grade turntable produces crisp and crystal clear analog sounds that will help enhance your music listening experience. Although not as high-end as some of the other models, the features it does have allows it to be upgraded and adjusted to adapt to your needs, ensuring a high-quality and superb listening experience.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Universal S-shaped tonearm
  • Gimbal-supported bearing structure
  • Static balance
  • Aluminum die-casted platter
  • 3-phase brushless DC motor
  • A rotation speed of 33.3 to 45 RPM
  • Features electronic braking system
  • Multi-tempo control
  • With heavy, die-cast chassis for prevention of resonance and vibration
  • Interchangeable audio and power cable for easy and flexible connection
  • Professional-grade gold-plated RCA jacks

Pros

  • Flexible and adaptive connectivity
  • Interchangeable power and audio cables
  • Multi-tempo control feature
  • Electronic braking system
  • Produces crystal clear sounds
  • Delivers excellent performance
  • Enhanced stability and durability
  • Suitable for any setup, whether it’s at home or at a bar

Cons

  • Cartridge and stylus not included

Buying Guide for Best Turntable Under 1000

In order to play your vinyl records, you will need to invest in a good quality turntable. However, when investing in one, there are a few factors you need to take into account, especially since these don’t come cheap. While there are a few affordable options at your local store, audiophile-grade equipment usually costs more than your these average models as they tend to have features that help deliver a superb quality performance when it comes to playing your vinyl records. With that said, we have created this comprehensive buyer’s guide that will hopefully help you with your purchase and ensure that you won’t experience buyer’s remorse later on.

Here are the top considerations you need to make when purchasing a good turntable under 1000.

  • Vintage or Brand-New?

Buying vintage doesn’t really pose that much of a disadvantage over buying brand-new. However, vintage turntables don’t have modern conveniences that some of the modern models do like USB and Bluetooth connectivity – features that will allow you to digitize your collection should you want to do so. On the other hand, some modern models skip the auto-stop feature that most vintage models used to have. Whichever route you go for, make sure you’re choosing something that’s high-quality and built to last. Moreover, ensure that it won’t be causing more trouble than it’s worth, especially when it comes to repairs and replacement.

  • Direct-Drive or Belt Drive?

Another important consideration is whether it’s direct-driven or belt-driven. The former is more heavy-duty and has more accurate speeds compared to the latter. Plus, DJs tend to prefer this type as it can withstand more wear and tear compared to a belt-driven turntable. However, the motors of direct-driven models can introduce far too much noise to the music’s playback. For audiophiles, belt-driven models are often their top choice, but belts are less durable and this can ultimately affect the sound produced during your listening session.

  • Cartridge

The cartridge is the part of the turntable that contains the stylus which is responsible for reading the record and producing the sound. While most models come with a pre-mounted cartridge on their tonearms, many still prefer to upgrade to receive better performance from their chosen model.

  • Phono Preamp

Because the initial signal produced by your turntable’s cartridge is very precise but weak, it needs a phono preamplifier to amplify the sound to a level that can be heard through your speakers. These amps can be built into the receiver, a powered speaker, into the table itself, or it can be found in a different component.

  • Additional Features (Like USB Connectivity)

While you’re buying a turntable because you enjoy listening to analog sounds, USB connectivity can be helpful and convenient, especially if you want to convert your records to digital form so as to preserve them and take them wherever you go. Other convenient features some manufacturers included are wireless connectivity which gives music enthusiasts more flexibility when it comes to connectivity options. Keep in mind, though, that vintage models will not have these features. 

Other Important Aspects to Consider

  • Playback Speeds – The common playback speeds are 33.3 and 45 RPM but some models can handle spinning 78 RPM, allowing it to handle more modern groove pressings but not vintage ones.
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio – This is the measurement of how much background noise gets into your recording. The higher the number, the better as it means a higher music signal than noise. The recommended mark is somewhere above 65 dB.
  • Wow and Flutter – This is the measurement of the accuracy of the turntable’s spinning. For this, a number lower than 0.25% is ideal because too much variation can cause a noticeable wobbling effect.

Final Thoughts

Despite the convenience of digitized music, many audiophiles still prefer listening to the analog music produced by vinyl records. For some people, they prefer vinyl records over digital copies because of the high sound fidelity produced by the format while some simply like the vibe and feelings evoked by listening through the said medium. Nevertheless, if you want to listen to your collection of vinyl records, then investing in a high-quality turntable is a must. Highlighted above are some of the top models of affordable turntables under 1000 that can allow you to enjoy your music without burning a hole in your pocket and sacrificing the quality of your music. Aside from the reviews, we also created a detailed guide on how to choose the excellent turntable under 1000. This section provides you with the necessary information you need in order to make a wise buying decision. With these, we believe that purchasing a turntable under 1000 can now be easier and allow you to buy the model best suited for your needs and avoid experiencing buyer’s remorse.

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